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Answer set programming (ASP) is a popular approach to declarative problem solving which for broader usability has been equipped with external source access. The latter may introduce new constants to the program (known as value invention), which can lead to infinite answer sets and non-termination; to prevent this, syntactic safety conditions on programs are common which considerably limit expressiveness (in particular, recursion). We present liberal domain-expansion (lde) safe programs, a novel generic class of ASP programs with external source access and value invention that enjoy finite restrictability, i.e., equivalence to a finite ground version. They use term bounding functions as a parametric notion of safety, which can be instantiated with syntactic, semantic or combined safety criteria; this empowers us to generalize and integrate many other notions of safety from the literature, and modular composition of criteria makes future extensions easy. Furthermore, we devise a grounding algorithm for lde-safe programs which in contrast to traditional algorithms can ground any such program directly without the need for program decomposition. While we present our approach on top of a proposed formalism in order to make the formalization precise, the general concepts carry over to related formalisms and important special cases as well. An experimental evaluation of lde-safety on various applications confirms the practicability of our approach.
Journal: Artificial Intelligence - Volume 233, April 2016, Pages 84–121